In two weeks, Tully’s Coffee locations at Boeing plants will close. Tully’s Coffee says it was difficult and unprofitable working with Boeing after the company’s job cuts or shifts; Boeing says it had “concerns with Tully’s ability” to fulfill its contract.
All 12 Tully’s Coffee locations serving Boeing employees at sites around the Puget Sound will close in two weeks, ending an 11-year relationship — apparently on less-than-friendly terms.
Boeing, which welcomed Seattle-based Tully’s into its Everett and Renton facilities in 2006, announced the move to employees Tuesday in a bland email that said the parting of ways was “of mutual interest” to both companies. Boeing spokesperson Paul Bergman said in another email that Boeing “had concerns with Tully’s ability to perform to the conditions of the contract.”
Tully’s Coffee was more explicit: The company has been looking to drop the Boeing locations for more than a year because it was inefficient and unprofitable to serve “a company that can’t seem to ever make up its mind where it wants its employees based,” a Tully’s spokesperson wrote in a statement.
“Boeing’s never-ending cost-cutting and moving thousands of jobs out of Seattle has had a huge impact on our business,” the statement said. “Opening and closing stores at Boeing due to the ever-changing whims of Boeing management is simply not profitable for Tully’s any longer.”
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In the past five years, Boeing has shrunk its Washington payroll by 20,000 employees, to 67,023 at the end of August, and has moved some jobs to different locations in the Puget Sound region.
Boeing said ending the Tully’s presence is not about saving money. The company is looking for a new supplier to take over the Boeing Tully’s locations.
Tully’s Coffee, which has 35 other U.S. locations, has often struggled to turn a profit. In 2012, the company filed for bankruptcy protection, closing 17 stores. It was bought out of bankruptcy in 2013 by an investment groupled by Michael Avenatti.
Tully’s said Wednesday its business has “never been stronger,” and it expects to open five to 10 stores in the next year. “We have enjoyed serving the hard-working employees of Boeing whose sweat and tears have led to Boeing’s successes … We will miss them but not the loads of red tape,” the spokesperson said in an email.